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The race for City Hall

Jobs and schools promise to be top issues in next year’s city elections. The mayor’s education agenda faces its toughest test in the African-American communities that gave him strong support in 2011.

For the Record: New Teacher Center grant

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced that a nearly $15 million Investing in Innovation grant will bring extra resources to the New Teacher Center’s mentoring programs for Chicago’s new teachers.

It’s not yet clear how many newcomers will be served, though. Throughout its time in Chicago, politics and leadership changes have gotten in the way of the program scaling up.

In 2009, then-CEO Ron Huberman expanded the Center to serve all the district’s first- and second-year teachers (which then numbered around 1,200).

But by fall 2010, amid budget problems and controversy over whether the district should be hiring new teachers during mass layoffs, the New Teacher Center’s programs shrank and were serving just one-tenth that number. Foundation money helped keep the program going until it finally secured a scaled-down contract in October of that year.

The following year, the program began to expand again, to 275 teachers. Plans were in place for the Center to once again serve all new teachers – now around 600 – this fall.

But, says senior vice president of induction programs Cynthia Brunswick, those plans were derailed by the strike and the recent CEO shakeup. “The circumstances of the strike just kind of threw everything a little bit off,” Brunswick says. “We are still trying to sort all of that out.”

So far this school year, the New Teacher Center has been able to offer about 130 teachers face-to-face mentoring. An additional 200 teachers will start online coaching in January. Depending on what the New Teacher Center can work out with CPS, even more new teachers may start later this year.

Under the federal Investing in Innovation grant, CPS and the New Teacher Center will receive planning money from January through June. After that, federal funds will cover teacher training, resources for mentor teachers, and professional development for principals.  All together, the money will serve about 150 to 200 additional teachers.

CPS will share the money with Florida’s Broward County Public Schools and Iowa’s Grant Wood Area Education Agency, where New Teacher Center efforts are also underway.

5 comments

northside teacher wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

blame the strike??

hahahh...CPS has NEVER gotten their act together on new teachers. they just leave you to the mercy of merciless principals and sometimes jealous teachers.....the strike hahahahha

Bob Nolen wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

New Teacher Grant

So it looks like Cps is rebuilding Cps. Will this work? No. This is the now times; and what's happening at school is a runoff of what's coming from home. You have to straighten that out first. You have to straighten out poverty all around first. You have have students to be focused first. So, the new teachers are going to solve these problems. Right! No; the new teachers are going to pay off their loans; and be gone. Before it is all over; Cps is going to be begging for veteran teachers. Subs don't even want to go to certain schools already. Why? New teachers and New Principals are running it. No; the students are running it. The Administrators at some schools are claiming that they are running it. If a veteran can't do it; a rookie certainly; can't. But now your veterans are just sitting back smiling at the demise. Aligning the crime rate in the city(and that is high); with the low performance at schools(and there is much). It is going down; down; down. This is the reward for vicious things that has been done against devoted veteran teachers who lost their jobs. At least they made it to retirement. A lot of the new ones won't. Nor will they stay. Nor will their ratings let them pass. It is a saddened time at Cps. Not like the normal used to be. If you wanted to save money; the veteran teachers could have taught the new teachers; and at a very small amount rate. After all; they are teachers. EXPERIENCED. Once a teacher; always a teacher. You can't take away their dignity. Tenure should have never been taken away.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

i agree

Why is that CPS which, as an entity, has shown proven ineptness for decades didn't get it's own version of SB7? Lets face it...teacher are teachers.....any of us could succeed in an environment like Naperville. Instead of helping and protecting us, Illinois took the politically prudent route and passed laws (SB7, CPS board rule, and residency) to put hte blame on the teachers,. Illinois has a perfect opportunity to now call CPS to a Illinois Congressional Meeting. Maybe USA needs to call Detroit, Chicago, LA, NYC to speak to congress and basically say "What the heck is going on with you guys?". They could say "we have let you have your charter schools, break the unions, write new curriculum, yet you are still a mess."

Why doesn't Obama have the guts to do this? He claims to champion the little man. However, in the case of Education, Obama and Illinois champion the districts. Fire Duncan......if a teacher can be fired...why can't Duncan? Call Daley and Rambo up to Capitol hill and say "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???"

It's time to look not at the fingers BUT THE HEAD!!!

Teacher Mentor wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Wonderful for new teachers

New teachers benefit from full-release mentors. It is wonderful that the New Teacher Center will be supporting as many new CPS teachers as possible. As someone who has been on both sides (a new teacher AND mentor in a large, urban district), nothing is more important for both RETENTION and PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT than dedicated mentoring for new teachers. If we want our new teachers to become effective veteran teachers, we should continue to commit ourselves to their professional development during their formative years. Mentoring is a big piece of that puzzle.

Fact-man wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Summary of the above comments

Bob Nolen claims: CPS re-building will not work because of poverty and the home-lives of children. New teachers cannot affect lives of children coming from poverty and challenging home situations.
FACT: There is no bigger controllable factor in student outcomes than teacher quality.
Bob Nolen claims: New teachers pay off their loans and leave.
FACT: New teachers who have dedicated mentors are more likely to stay in their urban placements, no matter what the school situation.
Bob Nolen claims: Veterans are sitting back and smiling at the demise of schools.
OPINION: I hope not; it would be pretty vindictive to smile at the suffering of children.
Bob Nolen claims: Tenure should never have been taken away.
FACT: It hasn't been. Only teachers who fail to perform on the CPS Framework, a nationally accepted definition of effective teaching will be denied tenure. Teacher who don't perform should not be given tenure.
FACT: Bob Nolen overuses semi-colons. EXAMPLES:
"If a veteran can't do it; a rookie certainly; can't."
"It is going down; down; down."

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